I am a member of the Secular Franciscan Order and every year my local fraternity does something called the Rite of Extraction.  You can find a detailed description of it here, but, in short there are three baskets, one containing names of saints, one containing virtues and one containing bible verses on strips of paper.  After invoking the holy spirit, each member of the fraternity has a piece of paper drawn for him or her from each basket.

The saint that was drawn for me was St. Pope Pius X, about whom I new next to nothing.  I am supposed to walk with this saint throughout the year, so I figured I needed to learn more about him.  Fortunately, Popes write a lot, so all I really needed to do was to find the various encyclicals, etc that he had written.

You can, of course, find these at the Vatican website, but I don’t find navigating the site particularly easy, and I don’t find reading against the background color particularly easy, either.  Then I found another website called The Papal Encyclicals Online.  Here you can download various documents from popes and church councils in various languages and in various formats (including mobi and epub so you can sideload them onto the e-reader of your choice).

Very nice.

Pax et bonum


The Catechism of the Catholic Church

I saw a post an old post on a website in which someone asked how to reach the catechism.  That post never got an answer, but I’d like to address it here.

First of all, should we read the catechism?

Of course we should!  We should know what we profess to believe!  But, I have to admit, the catechism is a hard book to read.  You could, of course, use the index to look up topics that interest you and then read about them, and that would be a great idea.

Here’s another good idea, though:


The Didache bible is filled with references to the catechism, so you can go from Bible to catechism and back again.

Here’s a sample:

commentary_key_conceptsAnd you get your choice to two translations:  The Revised Standard Version Second Catholic Edition and the New American Bible Revised Edition.

Now, if you read something in the Bible, you can find the catechism references that relate to it and read them as well.  You bet to know the Bible and the catechism which sound like a win-win to me.

I’m not trying to review the Bible or help anybody make any sales, but this is such a great idea that I want people to know about it so they can check it out and decide if it interests them.

Pax et bonum